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Crooks gets his chance to impress

By Chris Saunderson

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JASON Crooks has had to play a waiting game to get his starting chance for Elgin City this season.

However, the 23-year-old striker saw his patience rewarded last Saturday when he was drafted in for the 2-0 win over Queen’s Park.

And the former Ross County player hopes his performance will see him retain the jersey for the visit of East Stirling this weekend as City bid to keep their bright start to the season going.

Jason Crooks aims to grab his chance
Jason Crooks aims to grab his chance

Crooks, who fired in 15 goals last season from 42 appearances, has been forced to watch as Craig Gunn and Stuart Leslie have occupied the striking roles so far this season.

However, after disappointing displays against East Fife in the cup and Montrose in the league, manager Ross Jack and assistant Barry Wilson made changes for the visit of the Spiders, and Crooks was handed a slightly withdrawn role behind the front two.

"It has been frustrating, but the team has been playing well and it is all about the squad," said Crooks.

"I have had to wait for my chance, but the games against East Fife and Montrose we dipped a wee bit. I was delighted to get in last Saturday and help the team get the three points."

Glasgow-based Crooks revealed he will play anywhere he is asked to for the benefit of the team.

"I played in that role a few times last season. Ross and Barry had looked at the way Queen’s Park play and realised they like to pack their midfield.

"They had a tactic to counter that and mix it up a bit and it definitely worked."

Crooks said the competition for places puts pressure on all the players to perform when they get into the starting eleven.

And he said that was a key factor behind their positive start to the season.

"I have been at Elgin a few years now and we have never really had a good start to the season. Last season when we went on a good run we were always playing catch-up, but it is different this season."

Crooks revealed this is the best mood among a Borough Briggs squad in his time with the club.

"This is the most confident we have ever been. Everybody will be disappointed if we don’t at least make it into the play-offs," he said.

Jack was delighted with Crooks’ contribution last weekend.

"Jason slotted in well just off the front two and he linked up well. He gave us a bit of guile and skill in that area," he said.

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